Whaley HR lifts Tigerettes
The Marshall County Tigerettes (23-8) overcame another roadblock in their quest to reach the title game of the District 12-AA tournament when they defeated the Lewis County Lady Panthers 3-1 at home on Wednesday night to advance to the loser's bracket final.
Having swept the regular season series against Lewis County (18-10), the Tigerettes trailed 1-0 through the first two and a half innings of Wednesday's contest before senior third baseman Austyn Whaley belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the third to give Marshall County a 3-1 advantage.
MCHS starting pitcher Grace Medley made that lead stand, as she held the Lady Panthers scoreless over the final four innings to help the Tigerettes claim their fourth straight win over Lewis County.
Second baseman Mecia Reed singled three times to lead an eight-hit attack by Marshall County, while Madison Thomason went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Whaley (3 RBI), Ashton Watkins, and Katie Crabtree each had one hit for MCHS as well.
With her three-run bomb on Wednesday, Whaley increased her school record career homerun total to 26.
Medley turned in a strong performance in the circle and limited the Lady Panthers to six hits in seven innings of work while issuing no walks and notching two strikeouts en route to earning the win.
Starting pitcher Leanna Amacher tallied two doubles and a RBI to pace Lewis County at the plate. Kaylee Schmittou, Olivia Brewer, Baylee Clayton, and Jaci Duncan also had one hit apiece for the Lady Panthers. Amacher went the distance in the circle as well and suffered the loss.
Both teams left a runner in scoring position in the first inning before Lewis County notched a run in the top of the third inning to claim a 1-0 lead. Following consecutive two-out singles by Schmittou and Brewer, Amacher drove in Schmittou with a RBI double to left field, but Brewer was thrown out at the plate by Whaley to keep the deficit at one.
The Lady Panthers lead would prove to be short lived, as Whaley blasted a three-run homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the third to stake the Tigerettes to a 3-1 advantage after Thomason doubled and Watkins drew a walk.
Lewis County had a chance to chip away at the deficit in the top of the top of the sixth when Clayton doubled with two outs and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Medley retired Duncan on a groundout to snuff out the threat.
After Marshall County stranded a runner at second in the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Panthers brought the tying run to the plate when Alexis Beibers reached first base with two outs thanks to a MCHS error.
Medley, though, kept her composure and retired Kendall Bain on a fly out to secure the victory for the Tigerettes.